Not too long ago, I posted a recipe with sausages as an ingredient and it confused a Filipino reader who thought I made a mistake because, according to her, sausages came out of a can and what I used in the recipe looked something like longganisa. I told her, of course, that highly seasoned meat in tube form, with or without casing, is a sausage. Some are short and thin while others long and thick (that sounds almost like porn but that’s how sausages are), they can also be fresh, cooked, dried, smoked, cured, linked or unlinked.
The confusion in definition is an interesting one. For Filipinos raised by parents who grew up in post-World War II Manila, a lot of food items are defined in the context of G.I. food. Hence, canned Vienna sausages were sausages and other meats in tube form were known by other names. All canned luncheon meat were called SPAM. There was no distinction between chocolate bars and candies, on the one hand, and chocolate in pure form, on the other. It’s the food factory culture and it was contagious.
All that is for context as this is a post about longsilog, the Filipino sausage, egg and rice (all-day) breakfast plate. For non-Filipinos, longsilog is a portmanteau of three food items: “long” stands for longganisa (sausage), “si” is for sinangag (fried rice) and “log” is itlog (egg). Longsilog is just one of the many silog breakfast plates. There are also tapsilog (tap is for tapa or cured beef) and tosilog (“to” for tocino or cured pork). Those are the more traditional ones; there are contemporary variations that are too many to mention.
In the traditional silog breakfast plate, the fried rice is almost always garlic fried rice and the fried egg is served sunny-side-up. One time, Speedy and I were watching TV, Unique Eats was on and the episode was about the Kapiolani Community College Farmer’s Market in Honolulu, Hawaii. One dish caught my eye. It was longsilog but the presentation was different. The rice was Chinese-style fried rice, the Hungarian sausages were sliced (rarely done in the Philippines were sausages are small and are, therefore, served whole) and the eggs were scrambled. It looked awesome.
I made my version recently. To call it repacked longsilog would hit raw nerves among Filipino food purists but, what the heck? Purists are a small-minded lot, anyway. »